The Elizabethans

by A.N. Wilson.

Tales from the reign of Good Queen Bess.

The Elizabethans

Having enjoyed Wilson's earlier book about the reign of a later queen, The Victorians, I was looking forward to finding out a bit more about the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth.

The Elizabethans is a pretty good book. There was a bit too much emphasis on the Arts (Shakespeare and Co.) for my liking, but fair enough. I was also interested (and surprised) to learn that Queen Bess was rather tolerant of Catholicism: her main beef with the Pope being not so much to do with religious practices, as who should be in charge of the church. Very interesting stuff.

One thing which irritated me about this book, however, was Wilson's constantly banging on about how a modern-day person might feel about things that happened in Elizabethan times: slavery, Ireland, etc.. That's irrelevant. I wanted to read a book about what the Elizabethans thought; not what my contemporaries might think. Wilson also has a habit of repeating himself at times—sometimes on consecutive pages.

But, other than those minor quibbles, a pretty good read.

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